After 20 months of fundraising, purchasing, and delivering critical supplies for frontline troops, Oleg stepped up for military service in December, 2023 and began sending in these creative works he calls, “War Through My Eyes.”
Illustrations are from Book 1 of Oleg Veretskiy’s trilogy, “Tales of the Wandering Mists.”
by Oleg Veretskiy
The woman had a nine-year-old daughter. There were also old parents and a younger brother who had not yet reached the age of conscription. The five of them lived in a small hut. They did not live like dumplings in sour cream, but they were not poor either.
In the first days of the war, the husband left her and their children in a city under constant shelling and fled abroad. Later he said that he did not understand how it happened, as if fear had clouded his eyes and mind. It was easier to say that than to admit that it was simple cowardice.
The husband called from time to time. He told how hard it was for him in a foreign land. He was sheltered by a wealthy family and received financial assistance from the government of the country that granted him asylum. He drank craft beer, ate delicious sausages, and sent a hundred photos from Oktoberfest.
The wife hugged her daughter every night, feeling her tiny body shudder with every explosion. She covered the girl’s ears with her palms when the air raid siren sounded. She cried with impotent rage, the photos from Oktoberfest parading before her eyes.
At odd times, she recalled how in peacetime her friends said how difficult it was for a woman with a child to find a partner. During the war, and everything has become even more difficult.
Once an enemy missile hit her cousin’s house. The cousin and her husband and her parents were killed. Only her three daughters survived. She took them in.
Now she is a mother of four girls of different ages. Their house now resembled a glove from a folk tale – it was almost bursting at the seams, it was so cramped.
She would look at the girls and smile as they wielded their spoons, eating her delicious borscht. At night she choked on tears as she realized that during this chaotic and cruel war, at the beginning of a difficult winter, no one would need her and her four children.
At those moments she realized with clarity and certainty, that her young life would never be the same again.
You can donate for critical supplies for Oleg’s unit at firstname.lastname@example.org (PayPal).
Author Oleg Veretskiy suspended his career to support his country’s fight for freedom. Help us publish his magical coming-of-age tale!